countdown….ooooh….i start tomorrow

so i have ment to write so many posts leading the way from the last day of working, road trip to kansas and back, gear plans, and shakedowns. however, i did not do that. instead i spent a great deal of time getting rid of most of the things i own and hanging out with the people i won’t be seeing for a bit of time.

speaking of people i won’t see for some time…. i could NOT be doing this with out the support of so many people. i know i have said this before, but really, not one “are you fucking crazy?!” from anyone…at least not said to me.  so for real: all of you in the brunch and ping-pong club (and the ones who go but don’t like ping-pong), the co-workers who helped me get my schedule to where i could still work some and plan lots. hell, even the couple of co-workers who made my life hell and inspired me to start even earlier than i had planned. my good pals who have become like brothers to me, now sitting on either side of me here in astoria for one last night. the folks at the mercado who let us have one last gathering with all our friends from all over portland. the buddy who gave me two new tattoos to help me remember where home is no matter where i go. my friends who start so many conversations with “so i had this idea” that inspired me to come up with some of my own. the friends who showed me how to buck so many of the social graces that gives space for all of us to be true, honest, and present with each other and ourselves.  other friends who made the stickers for me (they came out sooo good so watch for them or check out my go fund me if you want one!). and then there is my family! no way could i ask for more love and support from my mom, sister, niece, nephews, brother-in-law, dad, aunts, and though they are not on this plane any longer i know i would have the grandparents right there.

as someone who has moved around a great deal, i have some theories about what it means to be in a place that gives you the self-awareness needed to take the great leaps in our lives. everywhere i have ever lived has provided this on some level, even kansas that was more of a kick in the seat of the pants to get the heck outta there. and thought portland is changing the way it looks and feels, it is full of people who celebrate the people who go beyond walking to the beat of a different drummer, but to those who hear and make totally different music and move to that music in their own ways.

as i sit here on the eve of the day i will start walking, i know i go with all of those folks with me, not behind me, not leading the way, but all around me. thank you just doesn’t seem to be enough, so just know i promise, no matter what happens, to bring back some stories.

i have also had the great fortune of finding some amazing gear made by real people that i talked to… including my shoes (yes, i have shoes that are amazing and i know exactly who sewed them) and i will be doing a separate post! but for now, today and tonight, i will be doing at least 2 more shakedowns, drinking some ft. george beers, and hanging out at sou’wester. tomorrow i will get dropped off at ft. stevens state park to start walking along the oct.

why wait

this summer i have found myself waking up at 5 am and not able to go back to sleep, and my recent trip to astoria was no exception. since i was in a four person dorm style hostel room, i decided to just go ahead and get up and walk the river until a coffee shop opened up. with the cool coastal air mixed with a warm cup of coffee, i contemplated why i was waiting to start my walk until i turned 50. why was i waiting a year and a half? whats the point? have more money saved up? be better prepared? i could go to kansas in may when my niece graduates from high schools (and so many may birthdays), why don’t i make a long visit, toss in some explorations of colorado, and just leave when i get back? these questions came up no matter where i went: sitting outside a funky bar talking to some locals, walking the beach as the sunset, drinking fantastic beer in the sunshine…and i had no answers.

some of the biggest logistical things that have kept me confused are what happens when our lease is up in may? what if i can’t find anything affordable to live in until i am ready to leave (this is super real in the portland housing market)? plus i am ready to go. i am already in the frame of mind of preparations. everyone i talk to is super supportive. why wait?

so i’m not!

i am going to plan a trip to kansas /colorado/utah in may and then come back, put on the pack and leave! that gives me 8 months, roughly, to get it all together as much as possible. at this point i just kind of have to wait and see what kind of winter we will be having to know what direction i want to go, or if it’s a high snow year, how i can skirt around it as much as possible in the early season.

so, there you have it! i upped the time frame and its all systems go! i’ve got plans to talk to work about how my schedule might change so that i can make the plans and take some classes to learn a few more skills. i’ll need to take off and dial in a few new pieces of gear ans systems for more versitility. locate resupply options. do some fundraising.